Investment talk: Factors to consider when starting a business in Zimbabwe

with the Careers Coach

Business, just like money is an illusion, it is made in the mind, it starts as an idea, brooded and nurtured into something tangible, and able to offer a return. The idea could then be turned into a venture involving physical products or services (goods or services), in business language are known as commodities.

Thinking of business, one must be certain that the idea should not only appeal to him/ herself alone, but also to others, who would benefit from the idea and be willing to pay.

Solving others’ problems

Business can be defined simply as art of solving other people’s problems, providing an effective and simpler way of executing different tasks, esteem satisfaction; in exchange for monetary value. So business is not just any idea, but the one that can be drilled down into pulling people to pay for it.

Location/ market

Think of where your business is to be situated, know your market, those you are targeting as your clients who would be willing and able to pay for your idea-cum-business. Assess their needs, what they are currently lacking and fill that gap.

How others did it/ are doing it

Take a look on other existing businesses, how they started, how they are being run, their strengths and weaknesses. What is it they are doing, how they are doing it, and devise a plan on how better you can do it. Take note of the existing gaps in the market, fill those gaps by doing better than the existing businesses.

Capital

In addition to the identification of a bankable idea, and the market, the next important idea is that of mobilization of the resources needed. In starting any business, there is what is known as capital, the initial resources, which could be in form of cash, initial stock or both. In this regard, be clear on where you are going to get it from, be it from personal savings, a bank loan, or from willing friends and relatives.

Draw a budget

Another step is quantifying what is needed, how much cash is needed, quantify the resources needed, and present them in black and white. Also note how much is currently on hand and how much extra is to be added. A well spelt out budget can also be a source of funding, as can be presented to some financiers who can buy into the idea, ‘it has always been said that battles are won on paper,’ and same applies to business, a clear strategy determines success or failure.

Registration

In Zimbabwe, for a business to start operating legally it has to be registered with the Registrar of Companies.

There are two laws governing the registration of companies, the Companies Act; this is the law that governs the registration of Private Limited Companies, such companies bear the words (Pvt-Ltd) in their names. This law caters for medium to large scale businesses, and a minimum of two people can register a company under this law.

The other law is the Private Business Corporations Act; this one governs the registration of small to medium size businesses, under this law at least one person can register a company.

Here after all the requirements have been followed, one has to submit the name or proposed names of the company to the Registrar of Companies for registration. The registrar may reject your application if the name is similar to another existing company, so it is wiser to submit more than one name up to at least five possible names.

That is the Zimbabwean context of how one can start a business, and once these formalities have been successfully done, then the business is set up and ready to operate.